Digital Energy Challenge - Annual Call for Projects

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Digital Energy Challenge - 2022
The Digital Energy Facility launched the Digital Energy Challenge in 2021, for a duration of four years, with an annual Call for Projects. The objective of the Challenge is to support the development of innovative solutions for energy access, the integration of renewable energy and public utility performance improvement.

The 2022 Call for Projects has now closed. The 2023 edition is expected to open in February 2023. If you wish to be added to our mailing list for the next edition, please contact us.

The digital revolution is key to tackling energy access issues in developing countries. In Africa alone, 600 million people, 1 out of 2 people in sub-Saharan Africa, do not have access to electricity. Innovative technologies and new business models are making significant progress in energy access with on-grid and off-grid solutions in urban and rural areas.

Contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, the AFD implemented the Digital Energy Facility, a programme co-financed by the European Union, with the participation of ADEME, to support the digitization and modernization of the energy sector.

Discover the 2021 edition here and the winning projects here

 

 

KEY DATES :

Who can apply?

The 2022 Call for Projects targets projects based in Africa and owned by:

Eligible African countries (2022 edition)

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

What activities are included?

Projects must have a core element of digital technology (telecom, computer or cloud-based). They must be innovative, either intrinsically or in relation to the local market or country. Finally, projects must be local with project management activities in the country where the project is based.

For the two categories, Start-ups and Utilities, the project scope must address one of three themes:
 

Services GridInnovative Clean Energy SMEsInnovative Digital Solution

 

 

Benefits for Challenge winners

Each year the Challenge will award 2 to 3 utility and technology/service provider partnership projects and 5 to 8 start-up projects. An annual budget from the European Union of €2 M will enable grant-based funding, technical assistance and strategic guidance. Challenge winners can benefit from:
      

  • A financial contribution in the form of a grant for equipment and software purchases, training, recruitment costs for start-ups, and product/service purchase costs linked to technology/service providers for utilities
  • Technical assistance for all utilities and certain start-ups on a case-by-case basis, such as project management support, strategic and technical expertise and accounting/reporting assistance
  • A boot camp run by cross-sectorial experts to support project implementation, foster synergies between project winners and share best practices
  • Increased visibility for the project through widespread social media communication campaigns piloted by AFD during the selection phase, award ceremony, bootcamp and for a period of time after these events 

 

How to apply?

For more information on each category and to apply, visit: 

 

Key dates

  • Launch of the Call for Projects: 1st March 2022
  • Information webinar: Watch the recording of the webinar in English here or in French here
  • Deadline for submission for Utilities: 15th May 2022 23:59 CET
  • Deadline for submission for Start-ups: 30th April 2022 23:59 CET
  • Notification of award winners and bootcamp: Autumn 2022

For further information or to be added to the Challenge mailing list please contact us
Download the Challenge brochure